(2013-02-15) By M.ZOLJAGRAL, UB POST
Tsagaan Sar is the holiday on which Mongolian citizens spend the most money. According to rough estimates, we Mongolians spend approximately 716 billion MNT (around 511 million USD) for this holiday, which is around 5.7 % of the Mongolian Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Many have been critical in the past of the massive imports from China of goods as gifts for the holiday, but in recent years Tsaagan Sar has brought greater economic advantages to domestic manufacturers and enterprises.
Though there is much discussion about whether it is right to celebrate Tsagaan Sar winter or not, the holiday spirit has already filled the air of Mongolia. The elderly are lining up at the banks to get pension loans while the youth are working hard to get overtime pay so they can afford to prepare well and celebrate this traditional national holiday. The average household spends at least 1 million MNT for the holiday, which lasts for four days. Below is a “Household Budget” that lists the major things Mongolians buy before Tsagaan Sar or use during the holidays, and the prices of these items.